Election 2018: Stabenow re-elected to fourth Senate term


Michigan voters have re-elected U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow to another term but it wasn’t without a fight.

The race was finally called by the Associated Press just before 112:30 p.m., with Stabenow leading with 52 percent of the vote to 46 Percent for James.

If you followed the polling data in the weeks leading up to Election Day you might think that incumbent U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow was in danger of losing her seat to Republican challenger John James.

James, a military veteran and businessman, lacked the name recognition and widespread support Stabenow was able to leverage in returning to Washington for a third term.

Stabenow has been a fixture in Democratic politics since she was elected to the Ingham County Board of Commissioners from 1975 to 1978.

From that position she moved to the Michigan House of Representatives from 1979 to 1990.  In 1991 she moved across the Capitol to the State Senate, serving in that body from 1991 to 1994.

At this point she hit a speed bump in her political career.  In 1994 she made a run at the Governor’s office.  She was defeated in the Democratic gubernatorial primary by U.S. Congressman Howard Wolpe.  He, in turn, added Stabenow to be his running mate and she was on the ballot as the Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor. The Wolpe-Stabenow ticket was defeated by Republican John Engler by a 61 percent to 38 percent margin.

In 1996 Stabenow challenged incumbent U.S. Congressman Dick Chrysler for the 8th Congressional District seat.  She defeated Chrysler and went on to be re-elected to a second term in 1998.

She completed her second term in the House of Representatives and turn her focus to the U.S. Senate in 2000.  Stabenow was able to defeat incumbent Republican Spencer Abraham by a narrow 49.5 percent to 48 percent margin, a difference of only 67,259 votes.

Stabenow was re-elected to a second six-year term in 2012, defeating Republican Pete Hoekstra by a comfortable 59 to 38 percent margin.

Stabenow has accomplished a rare political feat.  She is only the second person from Michigan to serve in both houses of the Michigan State Legislature and both houses of the United States Congress.

She is the ranking member of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, serves on the Committee on Banking, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the Committee on Finance.

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